Hyperthyroidism is excess production of thyroid hormones, which increases the body’s metabolism.
Most hyperthyroid cases are due to a benign tumour on the thyroid gland. If left untreated, they can negatively impact a cat's weight, blood pressure, heart, vision, liver and kidneys.
Hyperthyroidism management can involve various approaches. Radioactive iodine therapy can destroy the tumour and is often curative. Surgery to remove the tumour is no longer routinely performed.
Daily medication to inhibit thyroid production can be effective, but is lifelong, requires diligence, and regular diagnostic monitoring. A strict low-iodine prescription diet can also inhibit thyroid production, with varying results.
Discussing a personalised management plan with your veterinarian is important for the best outcome for your cat. Regardless of the treatment plan chosen, regular vet visits and diagnostic testing are required to monitor treatment response.
The prognosis depends on your cat’s response to the chosen management plan. Overall, well-controlled hyperthyroid cats can have a good quality of life, and a normal lifespan, but some may eventually develop chronic kidney disease.
Immediately contact your vet if your cat has uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhoea, difficulty breathing or walking, is vocalising in pain, or collapses.
It is vital to begin end-of-life care discussions before your cat’s condition becomes unmanageable, or they begin losing their quality of life.
The team at Goodbye Good Boy offers individualised support to help you and your family navigate this difficult time by providing quality-of-life checks, in-home euthanasia, cremation and aftercare services, and personalised memorialisation options. Our services can even be pre-paid to help ease the financial burden at the time of your pet’s passing.
To learn more about our pet end-of-life services, give us a call on 1800 953 619 or visit our website goodbyegoodboy.com.au.
This article was reproduced with permission from Goodbye Good Boy advisor Dr Dani McVety, of Lap Of Love.